After several years of extraordinary performance, healthcare stocks endured a challenging year in 2016. The Nasdaq Health Care and Biotechnology Indices were down almost 14 percent and more than 18 percent, respectively, year to date, through Dec. 12.
Whether you’re a leader of a public healthcare company, or a private company with plans for an IPO, carefully planned and flawlessly executed investor relations strategies are more important than ever during periods of increased scrutiny from Wall Street.
2015 was a volatile year on Wall Street, but healthcare was a source of strength and stability for investors. While most of the major indices declined, healthcare stocks returned 5.3% last year, with several sub-sectors experiencing significant outperformance (see chart below). And 78 healthcare companies went public in 2015, the most of any sector.
Last week, Histogenics became the 100th initial public offering (IPO) in the healthcare sector in 2014, with pharmaceutical and biotech companies leading the pack. Healthcare IPOs now account for close to 40 percent of all IPOs registered for the year, more than any other sector.
At Westwicke, the year has passed in a flash, with our investor relations, capital markets, and IPO advisory experts crossing multiple time zones regularly to meet with clients and attend conferences and road shows. We shared some of our experiences and key takeaways in our last blog post, “Lessons Learned in Healthcare IR from 2014.” Here, we’d like to reveal our most popular blog posts of the year — and share essential points that can help you plan for the year ahead.
Right after you report earnings is the ideal time to get out on the road and tell your story to the Street. Sell-side analysts are incentivized to market with management teams, so they are always willing to sponsor a non-deal road show (NDRS). It’s critical, however, to pinpoint the right city and sponsoring analyst to make the most of the trip.
Non-deal road shows involve planning and work but can deliver meaningful results. Below are what we consider the top 10 benefits.
Preparing for an initial public offering can be a daunting task. Once the process kicks off, the wheels spin faster and faster, with deadlines and opinions flying around from everyone involved. What can ease the burden and streamline the process?
Collectively, our team has helped hundreds of companies prepare for their IPOs, and seen the best and worst of what can happen during the process. We consider the year before the transaction critical and recommend these 10 must-do steps.
When attempting to articulate the exciting things happening within a business, management teams often rely on buzzwords and catch phrases to grab investors’ attention and paint a picture of the story they’re trying to tell. The problem, however, is that relying on clichés to bulk up your remarks often has the opposite effect. Having listened to thousands of conference calls, investors have heard it all before and view those hackneyed words and phrases as verbal fluff. Listed below are ten incredibly overused buzzwords that may sound exciting to you at first, but when used with investors, will fall on deaf ears.
Over time, all management teams want to build relationships, or at least a healthy rapport, with shareholders. Consistent execution of your business plan and proper communication with current and potential shareholders can help you build credibility, which in turn can bolster your company’s valuation and even allow your management team to earn “the benefit of the doubt” when things are not easy.
Last month, we looked at the top 10 ways companies can build credibility with shareholders. This month, we consider the opposite, and explore common ways companies get into hot water. Here are the top 10 credibility busters you want to work hard to avoid.
Legendary “60 Minutes” reporter Mike Wallace once said: “If there’s anything that’s important to a reporter, it is integrity. It is credibility.” The same should be true for every management team. Credibility with The Street – both on the buy side and the sell side – is an extremely important element in a successful investor relations program. In this month’s Top 10 list, we offer simple practices that help build and maintain corporate credibility.
- First and Foremost: Under-promise and over-deliver.
- Make sure your message and metrics are consistent.
- Provide the appropriate level of financial transparency. Continue Reading
Westwicke has been partnering with public companies for over seven years, and in that time we’ve helped companies effectively communicate to the Street.
We’ve compiled a list of best practices to engage in when it comes to your investor relations strategy.
- Cover both the good and the bad. It is easy to highlight the positive news and trends impacting your company and to gloss over the negatives. The best companies do a great job providing balanced information.
- Stay visible. After reporting a mixed quarter, it is important to maintain a dialog with your shareholders. Investors want to be reassured by the senior management that you are on top of managing the company.
- Adapt. Recognize that the metrics you provide to the Street need to evolve to best demonstrate the health of your business and to allow the investment community to gauge your progress. Continue Reading
The road show you take in conjunction with your company’s initial public offering (IPO) represents an exciting and action-packed two weeks. Over that period, you will crisscross the country, meet hundreds of potential investors and spend way too much time on airport tarmacs. While your bankers will have thoroughly prepared you to deliver your “story” to the Street, I thought it would be helpful to share some other thoughts about road shows based upon the thousands of IPO road show meetings Westwicke team members have participated in during our Wall Street careers. Here is my list of the top 10 things bankers probably won’t tell you about IPO road shows:
- You are always on stage. Be respectful and professional at all times – not just in the meeting but in the waiting area and car, as well. Often you will be traveling with an institutional salesperson so remember that this person has a relationship with the analyst or portfolio manager you are about to meet…don’t say anything that would allow them to give negative “color” to their clients.
- Let the person on the other side of the table get the question out. I see this all the time: senior management begins to answer the question in the middle of the question. Let the analyst or portfolio manager completely ask his or her question. Then, clearly answer that question. Continue Reading